Hot Toys Pirates of the
"The following is a guest review.
The review and photos
do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's
Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."
It's been a little while since we had a review from Jeff Parker, but he
jumps in tonight with a hot one - Davy Jones! Tell us all about him,
A big thank you to Michael as always, he’s a busy man with this
year’s onslaught of fan-boy favourites showing on a big screen near you.
It’s shaping up to be one of the busiest ‘blockbuster’ years on record;
we’ve already had Sweeny Todd, Cloverfield and IRONMAN. Speed Racer and Indy
have just been released and we still have Wanted, The Incredible Hulk,
Batman: The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Mummy:
Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The
Day the Earth Stood Still, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Hellboy II The
Golden Army, X-Files 2, Star Trek XI and the new animated Star Wars: Clone
Wars movie to look forward to, that’s without going too deeply into the
kiddie offerings like Space Chimps, Kung-Fu Panda and WALL-E.
Michael has already covered the initial toy offerings from many of these,
and I guess some of the more adult oriented movies won’t get merchandise to
cover, but these days you never can tell. I mean, would an ‘accurate’ action
figure of Angelina Jolie from Wanted actually be wanted…hell yeah!
Last year wasn’t anywhere near as heavy, we had Transformers, Ghost Rider
and the heavily promoted but sadly rather lacklustre Spiderman 3, but one of
the big hitters was Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) Dead Man’s Chest (DMC),
now we all know there are certain themes needed in a blockbuster, and you’ll
find most of the above have at least 90% of these elements listed below (but
bear in mind 76.8% of statistics I use are made up).
Anthropologically speaking there are certain elements we need for a classic
‘hero quest’ story, you’ll find them repeated time and time again all around
the world in virtually every different culture, if you’re interested you
should go away and read: ‘The Uses of Enchantment’ 1976 by Bruno Bettelheim
and ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ 1949 by Joseph Campbell (George Lucas
cites the latter as a great influence when writing his Star Wars stories,
and it goes without saying JK Rowling borrowed heavily as well), it has also
been noted (not least by cast and crew) that the POTC trilogy aped the
original Star Wars trilogy in many ways. But enough pontificating, lets get
on to the matter at hand.
And so- summer blockbuster creative story telling 101-
You will need….A seasoned hero- Jack Sparrow- Check!
A young man on a spiritual journey- Will Turner- Check!
A love interest (preferably feisty)- Elizabeth Swann- Check!
Redemption (normally of a family member)- Bootstrap Bill- Check! An
old adversary- Hector Barbossa- Check!
Exotic strangers along the way- Sao Feng- Check!
A quest- The rescue of Jack from Davy Jones locker… amongst a lot of others
too complex to go into here- Check!
And lastly, you absolutely and totally MUST have a BAD GUY, or GUYS without
conflict you have nothing!
And so Pirates of the Caribbean in part two of the trilogy, Dead Mans Chest,
gave us Davy Jones, in many ways he was played out as a puppet to the evil
Cutler Beckett, who in turn represents the corporate East India Trading
Company (or the Empire if you will, both British and metaphorically Star
But Davy only acts as a puppet as long as Beckett has his enchanted hold
over him, a kind of ‘Emperor’ if we are to continue this tack.
The true ‘Vader’ of the movies was without a doubt Jones, and a great bit
of character design he was too. Like Vader the writers gave him enough
pathos that we had some sympathy for him and we still knew that under all of
his ’fishy’ goings on there was still the heart of a man beating,
unfortunately though, it was stored in a box.
Many of the characters listed above have already had the Hot Toys treatment,
some we are still hoping will come in the future, come on HT you HAVE to
give us Barbossa! But for now here is the next offering, Davy Jones, you can
find my reviews of the others here:
Jack and Sao
Elizabeth and Sao (V2)
Jack (V2) and Will
So far I’ve liked all the POTC boxes, Sao V2’s wasn’t quite as spectacular as
the others, but his limited availability kind of made up for it and Davy’s
box follows exactly the same style of the previous At World’s End (AWE)
figures. So we get the red colour-way metallic sleeve with a movie still on
the front, this covers a flap-fronted box bearing pictures of the figure and
his accessories. Inside he’s laid in a vac-formed tray held down by four
twisties, and in various hollows surrounding him you’ll find his
The main difference you’ll notice between Davy and what came before is his
weight, boy is this a hefty figure, but even though he’s so bulky, the box
still does a fine job of protecting and storing the figure.
When I first saw the proto pics I really thought this would be a 4 star figure,
and to be fair it is a fantastic sculpt by Pan Mak and under different
circumstances it might have been, but I’ve been so spoilt by all the human
likenesses done by Yulli of late that this didn’t quite blow me away as much
as I thought it would. Perhaps I’m being too harsh on this figure it is
absolutely outstanding in many ways, but Cannibal Jack has set the new
yardstick for me and all other releases shall be measured by it.
The amazing thing I will say here is that even though the characters face
was virtually all CG, there is still something of Bill Nighy there in the
eyes, and that shows how strong this sculpt is, you can see the
The other thing you have to take into account with this figure, is that
unlike any of the others in this line he is completely sculpted from the top
most point of his tri-corner hat right down to the tip of his pointy crab
Because of the decision to make his attire out of rubber/silicone pretty
much every element of this figure apart from his hessian sash is sculpted.
This works fantastically for the ‘look’ of the figure, and gives his outfit
a kind of glossy, wet, translucence that adds to the authenticity of a
cursed half fish man who lives most of his life beneath the waves. His coat
and hat, well in fact pretty much all of him bar his face, crab leg and claw
are adorned with all manner of ‘fruits de la mer’, like limpets, muscles,
clams, cockles, barnacles, algae and seaweed, these are all sculpted to the
usual HT standard- i.e. - very high, but more on his outfit later.
His face looks pretty much spot-on to my eyes, I’m sure some eagle eyed
fan will tell me his second tentacle from the right is too fat but I’ve
freeze framed the movie and Googled photos of Davy Jones (hasn’t
that guy from‘ The Monkees’ aged well!) and his face and tentacles are
incredibly well observed. His right hand is in a gripping position with a
very long tentacle forefinger; this has a wire running through it for posing
and works well when gripping his accessories, it’s a shame there weren’t at
least a couple of his facial tentacles handled the same way, but they hang
His crab arm is like the leg, very nicely done but they both have limited
movement. Surprisingly, at least to me, the leg has a greater range and
moves out from the body and can get into crouches and stepping positions
pretty well, but the arm has a rubber covered joint at the elbow which means
it struggles to stay at a 90% angle, because of the exoskeletal properties
of a crab I thought this would all be hard plastic and the overlapping would
hide any joints. As it is, HT went for this approach and it probably does
make for a more convincing effect visually, but as I said this means the
articulation suffers a little.
We all know what HT can achieve in paint apps when they’re dealing with
human characters, and they’ve shown a lot of subtlety on some of the later
predator figures as well so it came as no surprise that this would turn out
so well. Once again J.C.Hong oversaw the prototype and production painting,
alongside Kermit Law (you’ll find a certificate poly-bagged behind Davy with
all these production credits).
The paint on his coat, waistcoat, trousers and boots is all very crisp,
expertly applied and shows some very fine work on the all the barnacles and
algae mentioned above, they also show some great use in washes and paint
effects to give the overall final look a real feeling of age and weathering.
The only slight let down was the painting on the edging of his coat, it’s
still painted well with no ‘real’ slop, but it just doesn’t convince as well
as the rest, and the fact he is ultimately rubber dressed rather than
fabric, means the differentiation between what is clothing and what is
organic has become a little blurred. There is also some nice airbrush work
and detailed spotting and paternation on his crab arm and leg, but it’s the
head and face that draw your focus.
The base plastic used has some fantastic semi-opaque, translucent
qualities and these have been enhanced with a very clever and subtle use of
paints that don’t cover this up; meaning things like the lines and suckers
on his tentacles are greatly enhanced without looking too obvious and with
the light behind him it all looks very flesh-like and organic. I was a bit
concerned in the proto pics that he might be a little dark around the eyes,
but the production piece looks just about right. The actual eye painting is
also very tightly executed and as I said above, remarkably, you can still
see Bill Nighy in there. He also has his bandanna painted on, there’s some
nice fine detail work here but I’d guess 99.9% of people will display him
with his hat firmly in place.
So all in all an amazing paint job, just kept from perfection by the
paint apps on his coat, and to be fair even they are way above the quality
many manufacturers have given us.
Articulation - **1/2
This is the only area Davy is really found wanting, underneath all of
his layers is a modified True-Type so you can still get some good poses out
of him, but the engineering and mechanics of being a rubber-dressed figure
with one crab leg, one crab claw and a large be-tentacled head with an
octopus sack at the rear mean Davy isn’t up there with Spiderman when it
comes to his agility.
You’ll get any number of general standing and gesturing poses, and he
interacts with his accessories well, and with some teasing you can get some
of his swashbuckling poses seen at the end of ‘At World’s End’ (AWE) but
you’ll struggle to get anything too extreme or deep when it comes to
fighting stances. I tend to be a pretty straightforward, standing pose kind
of guy when it comes to displaying, but I always like to know the
articulation is there. And to the growing number of collectors and hobbyists
who like to take action pose photography it’s all-important. So as I say,
the articulation IS there, but you have to work a little for it.
So far all the characters in this line have come with pretty much everything
you could want for each specific character, and Davy ain’t no different, so
- Crab claw pipe
- Barnacle covered sheath
- Walking stick
(Funnily enough you get one with the Neca version as well but I’m pretty
sure Davy never actually uses one in the movies?)
- Double-stem key
- The Dead Man’s Chest
- Davy Jones’ heart
- Stand with character name and POTC-DMC logo
When you get him out of the box his hat is packed separately as well, but I
definitely consider that part of the outfit. These accessories show a lot of
time has been spent scrutinising stills and props from the movies. I’m
especially liking the handle on his sword and the scabbard with a little
shell that it attaches to his belt with; and the detailing on the chest that
houses his heart, the sculpting on its external carving is nice and crisp
and the mimicking of the locking mechanism inside its upper lid is
fantastic, classic HT attention to detail.
Outfit: looks ***3/4, functionality **1/2
This outfit looks good, no, really good, but the way it’s constructed makes
it quite bulky so for the first time I felt the need to sub-categorise.
The aesthetic is amazing and for such a complex outfit HT have pulled out
all the stops to give us an incredibly detailed and layered rendition of the
screen worn outfit, I’ve already gone over many of the details above, but I
haven’t covered his hat yet. It’s made of a soft flexible plastic and is,
‘as everything else well sculpted and painted. It sits well on his head, but
sits loosely so be aware when handling him as it might fall off. The
scabbard, likewise just rests in a groove on his belt, but the action of
overlapping his coat will help hold it secure.
As I also said above, the materials used do end up hampering some of that
articulation. If I was grading this solely based on how good it looks then
it would have been ‘almost’ full marks, but because of the limited
poseability, I felt that on this occasion a lower score was necessary for
its functionality. So if like me you just want to display in a simple pose
he’s perfect, but if you want to get some big action poses he’s less so.
Fun factor: for collectors ***1/2, for kids **1/2 (like it’s gonna
As far as I’m concerned, if HT had only made two characters from the trilogy
it should have been Jack and Davy, as it is, we’ve been spoiled for choice
and have seven characters already with hopefully more to follow.
And as I said, I personally like a straightforward standing pose when I
display my figures so for me he’s virtually perfect, and the reaction he got
from friends (people can’t keep their hands off of him) leads me to believe
he’ll become a fan/collectors favourite over the years.
If, however, you are rich enough to buy this as a plaything for a child…
well, you have more money than sense, and I think they’ll be disappointed
when the construction of the 12” Neca or Zizzle versions would be more play
A lot of R&D must have gone into this figure and he utilises a HELLUVALOT of
materials, but at $149.99 Davy is the most expensive POTC figure so far by a
So because of his weight and bulk you feel like you’re getting a lot of
figure for your money, but if that money had been nearer the $129.99, that
the recent Cannibal Jack and Will Turner were, it would be a four star
figure, but that extra money plus the limited articulation means losing a
star on this occasion.
Even though he could do with being a centimetre or so taller, and like I said,
he’s not ‘the’ most poseable of the set so far, he still makes a fantastic
addition to the line, looking so visually interesting when displayed
alongside the others and for me he was the must have companion to Jack, so
not a perfect score but damn close.
And had he come in at $129.99 I could have easily over-looked the edging
on his coat for a perfect score, so if you can get him for nearer that price
you’re onto a winner.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***3/4
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - looks ***3/4, functionality **1/2
Fun Factor - for collectors ***1/2, for kids **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy -
SST the official importer still have him on pre-order for $149.99 and some
of Michael’s sponsors also have him, and one at least is quite a bit
cheaper, so check these out:
$149.99 - PRE ORDER
$134.99 - PRE ORDER
$149.99 – SOLD OUT
Or if you’re in the UK
£99.99 - PRE ORDER
I’ve also seen a few on eBay for between $130 and $170, happy hunting.
You can use the sponsor
to search as well.
And I’ll leave you with a joke my seven year-old daughter told me.
Q- Why are pirates, pirates?
A- Because they, Arghhhh!
KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR LOTS MORE PHOTOS!
from the collection of Jeff Parker.